Wednesday, October 28, 2009

And one more thought on sleeping

For once my comments on sleeping are not just a complaint about night time feedings! (Although she did wake me up twice last night and the second time she didn’t want to go back to sleep. But that is besides the point! As a side note, I know many people are in the “cry it out” camp, but we’re living with my in-laws and my father in law had a big meeting at work today so he really needed a good night’s sleep. It’s one thing if our sleep is disrupted, but my in-laws finished their sleep training 30 something years ago and are inconvenienced enough by us as it is.) Anyway, sorry, we’re not talking about that. I forgot.

My daughter has a new preferred sleep position. She’s become a belly sleeper, but it’s not just that – she sleeps with her knees under her and her butt stuck up in the air. I put her down on her back and she almost immediately rolls to this position. My mother in law has tried moving her, but she just rolls right back (or wakes up mad about being moved!). I can’t understand how this is even vaguely comfortable, but she seems to be in that position almost every time I walk in to check on her. My Mom thinks it looks like she’s ready to crawl away the second she wakes up. I’d more vote that it looks like she was crawling and just thought she’d stop for a second and …zzzzzzz…

The new and improved new house!

Thank Goodness! The couple accepted our offer on the new house and we will settle in just a few weeks! Unfortunately they need to rent back from us for a month (not ideal, but sort of necessary for us to get this house at this price and we do have a place to live in the interim), but then we will move in in about 2 months! Woo hoo!!!

This house is a bit smaller than the original, which is sort of a bummer, but it’s a much better location. It’s quite a bit closer in to the city and about 5 minutes from my office (I may need to drive around the block a few times on the way home to decompress!). It’s also a much bigger lot, so there’s room to expand one day if we want. Truthfully we wouldn’t be able to afford a house the size we’d really like in this community, but we can afford this somewhat smaller house now and then can potentially add on to it when we can afford that – so maybe we’ll get the bigger house in the better community yet (without moving / more closing costs! Although we might have to move back in with my in-laws for renovations so I need to think about this…).

Anyway, we’re very excited for this place (and not just to move out of my husband’s childhood bedroom!). It’s cute and homey – with wood floors taken from a Civil War era house and 2 wood burning fireplaces. Hmm, and as I’m apparently going with a “woody” theme, it also has a nice wooded area in the back which makes it all seem more rural (though still in a city) and will be a fun place for our daughter and our dog to play (well, he’ll probably get there first – she’s only 8 months old!).

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


So I bought my little monkey her very own little monkey costume to wear this Halloween. But then I thought - well, I guess she'll just wear it when trick or treaters come by because she is too young for trick or treating / can't eat candy. But then I just got the idea from another (devilishly wonderful) blog ( of taking her out trick or treating for the free candy (duh)! When she's older and able to eat it on her own, she'll probably get mad at me for wanting to take it... Or at the very least won't let me have the good pieces!

I also think that I should get first dibs on any of the candy (over my husband) because I'm breastfeeding and therefore if *I* eat the candy, she does eventually get it. If he eats it - well, he's just, LITERALLY, taking candy from a baby. And everyone knows that's wrong.

Potty Training

I know that most of you will think I’m crazy even starting to write about potty training when my daughter is 8 months old. My husband certainly thinks I’m crazy. But here goes…

Potty training is one of the things that scares me about parenthood. It’s completely uncharted waters (uncharted poopy waters…). How on earth does one go about doing this? OK, it’s not really uncharted waters. LOTS of people have done it before. There are tons of books. In theory I even have experience with it, being potty trained myself (I thought I should clarify lest you think I keep the Depends people in business, given my stated fears. I mean it scares the crap out me. But not literally.).

So I started reading books early – and a lot of them have suggested it’s possible to potty train early. Or, if not to potty train, to get your baby comfortable with the potty so that it’s less of a struggle when the right time comes. I guess I should give a little more background… Some time, several months ago, my sister in law mentioned a friend whose in-laws swore up and down that they could potty train her child of less than a year while the friend was away for a week or two (when you come back, he will be potty trained). Apparently they were not wholly successful, but it brought up the discussion and it turns out that other cultures (they are Eastern European) potty train much earlier than Americans do. She told me this and I thought – you’re crazy. How do you possibly potty train a child that can’t yet walk? It’s not possible. I dismissed it out of hand (because that is the type of open minded individual I am). But it must have been in the back of my brain because I decided to look up some information on potty training last month and found out that apparently other people do potty train much earlier. In fact, if the book I was reading last night is true, even Americans used to potty train infants (to some extent) until the 1940’s or so. In a world before disposable diapers (or “good” cloth diapers), it just made sense to potty train earlier. And children likely wanted to potty train earlier rather than be cold and wet (a feeling hidden by modern diapers). So from very early on, parents would learn to read the potty signals and hold a child over a toilet (or pot or hole in the ground or fill in the blank depending on the appropriate time and circumstance). This book suggests that babies can read their body signals to know that they need to go (or are going?), but because modern diapers remove the need to read that signal, they lose the ability / desire / etc. Hmm…

So this got me thinking… When my daughter was a newborn, you could always tell when she was pooping because she made a face as she went. (Yes, there was also a lot of noise and sometimes some poop on your jeans to let you know, but the face was consistent.) But she’d pretty much stopped making that face for pooping over the months that followed. However, she had her first solid poops recently and I noticed that the face returned for these – as, I guess, this is a new and different sensation – one she is none too happy with as she tends to cry then too. If the books I’m reading have any value then – well, she’s giving me poop signals right now and she’s unhappy about pooping / sitting in poop – maybe I could start getting her used to the concept of the potty.

I know, I know! My husband laughed at me when I told him this plan last night. And really – I don’t exactly think it’s going to work or that I’m going to have a potty trained 12 month old. But the stuff I was reading had some other points that seemed to ring true (to me!). The big one was that toddlers often don’t like the potty / are scared of the potty / or just plain refuse to sit still long enough to be on the potty. So it becomes a war – which the parent inevitably loses (or possibly EVERYONE does). It made the point that now might be a good time to start putting my daughter on the potty because she can’t walk yet and therefore will be happy enough to sit still there and get used to the potty. Then, as a toddler, she won’t be scared of it and she’ll be OK with the concept of sitting on it when she actually needs to.

So this is the great experiment. I haven’t bought a potty yet, but when I do - feel free to come back and laugh at this one – it does seem just a little bit insane to me too. But, whether it seems insane to you or not, please tell me about your own potty training experience – what worked, what didn’t, when you started (and ended!).

The straight poop

I mentioned earlier that we were starting fruits and vegetables in the last month or two. It’s taken awhile, but she is FINALLY starting to actually eat them! For the longest time, I know her bib and hair were enjoying them, but it didn’t seem that much was getting in her mouth. But then we started fruits. She liked some of the fruits a bit and stopped pushing them out with her tongue – and I think it was like a curtain lifted for her. I think she just finally actually figured out how to eat and that that sensation of fullness wasn’t half bad. Or maybe I’m crazy (wouldn’t be the first time!). Whatever the case, after she ate those first fruits that she enjoyed, she was much more amenable to eating other things. Things she’d rejected in the past. Heck, she even ate some cereal! (Note – I’d gotten her to eat before, but it always seemed that as much came out of her mouth as went in. Feeding took forever as I felt like I was retrying with the same spoonful over and over again - put it in her mouth, she pushes it out. I scrape it off her face with the spoon and try to put it in her mouth again. And again. And again.)

And eating so much solid food had some results. Solid poop! You can tell we’re first time parents as this TOTALLY excited us. My husband felt the need to call me at work to tell me about the first semi-solid poop. When she had a “real” fully solid poop, I called him in to look at it. Now, we didn’t go so far as to take a picture (as he did with the merconium at the hospital), but it was still an exciting time. Even though it smells a lot more than the old breastmilk only stuff did. It reminds me of that old Cosby routine. I can’t remember all the particulars, but he talks about how new parents are always totally excited by poop at the beginning. We show the dirty diaper to everyone and have to be stopped from framing it. So he notes how confusing to the baby it must be when (really not so long) later we’re sighing about by yet another dirty diaper and arguing over whose turn it is to have to change her. I’m not sure I realized how funny (and accurate) Cosby was when I was a kid…

Monday, October 26, 2009

All About MEme - tales from the darkside

If you read the posts this came from, you'll know that I am not alone when I say I am a major scaredy cat - scared of my own shadow! When my husband and I were dating, we were walking in Georgetown and a rat (a rat!!!) ran over my foot - did I mention I was wearing sandals? So I felt it's disgusting little rat-ness running over my bare toes?! I jumped about a mile! I maintain that this is not scaredy-cat-ed-ness, but completely reasonable. But what might be less reasonable is... my husband saw how quickly I jumped at what went bump in the night and is able to make me jump any time we are walking down the street or hiking just by yelling - rat! Or snake! or even - watch out! It's a terrible weakness to have around him...

But ironically, while I am easily startled, I'm also very good at logic-ing away the boogie man. Nope, that was my imagination. It never happened. I didn't see anything. I wasn't really awake yet. I don't really go in for ghost stories that much and always think - well, there has to be some logical explanation. My husband is sort of the opposite on this end. He doesn't freak easily, but he definitely believes more strongly in the paranormal and doesn't talk himself out of those experiences. He had several strange stories about the last house he lived in, which he and his roommate both agreed was haunted. But this story is actually about the condo where we used to live (until this summer).

This happened a few years ago (maybe 3?). It was the middle of the night and we were both in bed asleep when he woke up to go to the bathroom. For whatever reason, he started to head out of our room to the guest bathroom (rather than the master). When he opened the door, there was a very bright light in the hallway that shone for just a moment and then was gone, though he hadn't turned any lights on.

My husband describes his reaction to this light as - rushing back to the bed in a panic like a little girl - all 6'4, 250 lbs of him. We both sat freaked for a minute - what on earth was that?! I tried to suggest it was headlights from the parking lot - but those would have had to have come from the window in our room and this came from the center hallway (nowhere near a window). I thought maybe there was a power surge and a light had flashed brighter. But that would have made a noise and broken the bulb - and this wasn't the right type of light. It didn't flash like that. It was just a pure white for a moment. My last ditch effort was to say that I wasn't really fully awake and it hadn't really happened - except that we both saw it.

We never did figure out what it was. But my husband decided to use the master bathroom that night - and I lay wide awake while he did staring into the blackness unable to relax.

So not exactly a scary ghost story - but then again, I don't usually believe in ghost stories so knowing that I saw this did sort of freak me out.

Your baby can read!

Ok, so my baby can NOT, in fact, read yet. And even if she could, I’ll be honest, despite her clear early genius, I don’t think her comprehension levels would really be “all that” at 7 months. But that did not stop us from going to the National Book Festival on the mall recently.

The event was actually a bit different from what I pictured. Well, scratch that, I’m not exactly sure I had a clear picture. But whatever picture I had, this wasn’t so much it. But it was still fun. I think I had the concept that this would be like the library conferences my Mom used to go to – there’d be a big area with booths set up for different books / authors / publishers / reading related stuff with some book related giveaways (bookmarks, say) and places to buy books and get signatures. Maybe there was a part more like that, but the parts we saw were more big tents dedicated to different genres – a fiction tent, in which John Grisham was speaking (the place was packed to the gills and overflowing) when we arrived. I’d more put him under “mysteries/thrillers” (the next tent over), but who am I to judge?

Anyway, despite the fact that we’ve established my baby can not read we headed to the children’s and teens section for their next lecture by James Swanson. My mother in law noted later that she really loves having the baby with her as she feels like she can push her way to the front in these situations because clearly the baby needs to be there and we have to have seats because of the baby (who is not old enough for a seat and was in her stroller). I had not heard of James Swanson before, but after hearing him speak I have to say – I sort of want to go buy his book (well, maybe borrow it from the library cause that’s the kind of chick I am!). He wrote a book on Lincoln’s assassination and then developed a young adult version of it, which is what he was speaking about. Now I admit, maybe I just liked him because he shares my daughter (and Lincoln’s) birthday. (Hmm, or maybe I didn’t like him because every time he reference his shared birthday, he totally forgot to mention her! Well, one day he’ll surely realize her historical significance.)

The one unfortunate thing about the day was the weather was not very nice. It was actually OK, but a little chilly and overcast. After about an hour or two, my Mother in law got worried that it was too chilly for the baby and we should go. I didn’t want everyone to leave on our account – especially as she had on a long jumper and a sweater and I had a light blanket over her. But eventually I thought maybe, just maybe, my MIL was pushing so hard for the baby’s need to leave, as she really wanted to leave. Only took me how long to pick up on that one? Way to use our kid!

Dang, why didn’t I think of that?

Putting the baby to work

As we started looking at houses again, we decided to go back to one we’d seen before that was overall a bit smaller than we’d really like and, though they’ve now dropped the price a bit, still a bit out of our price range. It’s a really nice place in a good location with a great (big) lot, so I thought it might be worth considering whether we could get it at a reduced price and then, one day in the future when maybe we actually have some money, put an addition on it, since the lot is big enough to support it. Admittedly, the way the lot is laid out, we can never have a 2 car garage (unless we stack the cars!), but we can probably get a 4th bedroom, a larger kitchen and family room and entrance to the house from the garage (well, maybe if we win the lottery).

The house was supposed to be open for viewings this weekend, but apparently the agent screwed up and we should have had an appointment. The older couple who lives there was nice enough to let us in anyway, though, and showed us around. As it’s an older couple with grandkids, we decided we should send the baby in first and put her to work! She did her best to charm them (my favorite quote was the woman actually said – She’s adorable. I mean, I thought my grandkids were cute, but she’s really cute!).

I think we’re going to try to get this one (though we’ll have to offer less than they’re asking because we just can’t meet their price), so here’s hoping they really liked her and want to see her grow up there!

Rumors of our house had been greatly exaggerated

The realtor called last week – the bank has told the listing agent that they won’t be able to close on the house and we should withdraw our offer. My first response to the voicemail was a loud and guttural profanity, but since then I’ve felt too ‘tired’ to even curse it. And we start looking at houses again… while living with my in-laws and cursing Deutsche Bank for screwing us over in this process

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Conspiracy Theory

The dog and the baby are clearly in on this! They are working together to make sure I get as little sleep as possible. I'll be sleep deprived and therefore a far weaker target. I'm not exactly sure what their end game is yet... For the dog, I think it's a bid to get more treats. For the baby... well, she's harder to read. Maybe she's just trying to get some bargaining power once the terrible twos hit.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Being Cultural

We finally both had a day off last week – a day off where we didn’t have to house hunt (even though ours keeps getting delayed) and didn’t have to move (nowhere to go!) and didn’t have a thousand errands to run! So we decided to go have some fun. The original plan had been to go to Annapolis, but the weather wasn’t nearly as nice as we’d hoped, so we decided to go the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michael’s, MD. We figured we could get our fix of being near the water if the weather was nice, but didn’t have to stand around in the cold by the water if it wasn’t.

As it turns out, the museum is actually multiple buildings (and outdoor exhibits!) on the water, so we were outside quite a bit. We’d dressed the munchkin in a long sleeved pink onesie (an adorable one my friend sent that says “does this diaper make my butt look big?”) and overalls with pink patches. But as it was cold, we threw a sweatshirt on her – a maroon BC sweatshirt that my sister in law bought (for equal opportunity college fashions, though she has gotten her FAR MORE VT stuff). I figured she had enough pink on, but in the baby bjorn (or daddy bjorn as my husband likes to call it), you could only see the jeans and maroon sweatshirt, so everyone kept asking us about our son. Oh no! I’m cross dressing her already! Just add this one to the therapy bills…

The museum was actually pretty interesting and more extensive than you’d think. We learned a bit about the history of the Bay and how fishing has changed. OK, maybe that doesn’t sound so interesting… but fishing was really a way of life, so it has far reaching impacts there. Anyway, afterward, we walked around the town a little and had an early dinner and stopped to get some ice cream on the way back to our car (I don’t know why I have been obsessed with getting ice cream this summer. I don’t know if it’s just the breastfeeding uber-hunger or what, but I’ve been eating a lot of ice cream!). The young woman working at the shop noticed our munchkin and told us she’d just found out she was expecting. Except she didn’t say it with the enthusiasm that you usually hear. My husband was mid-way through saying congratulations, as I watched her face and wasn’t sure congratulations were really what she wanted. She went on to explain that she was 22 and trying to go to college part time and that her boyfriend was completely overwhelmed by the news.

It’s so crazy when you think about it. I remember in my mid-20’s when my first friend started trying for a baby. It actually took her almost no time (though she thought 3 months felt like a long time), but it was so strange to hear her disappointment in not getting pregnant each month when so many other people I knew were trying for exactly the opposite at that time. Obviously several years later the tables have turned – concerns about pregnancy among my friends tend to be more fertility issues (we had our own such issues for over a year), so it was so ‘odd’ to hear someone unhappy about a pregnancy when that is all so many people I know want. Fate has a funny sense of humor, doesn’t she?

As I listened to this girl, I just wanted to give her a hug and run to buy her some diapers (or some baby thing) at the store (though my husband told me it was too early and that wasn’t appropriate). My husband told her that having a baby had totally changed everything in his life – entirely in good ways and tried to be encouraging (though he did have to give his typical speech warning her that the first 3 days were crazy hard!). But it was hard to watch her pain and fear (at least easier now that we have overcome our fertility issues to have our baby) and my heart went out to her. So I put this one out to the universe – to pray for this girl (and her ‘twins’ who are all over, facing the same situation).

Attitude and Reverse Discrimination

The other day my mother in law tried to feed the munchkin some peaches while I was putting away my expressed milk and doing a few other things. She was having none of it. She fussed and moved away. I decided to give it one last try before we called it a day on peaches and decided she didn’t like them. Well, it was like a different baby! She ate the peaches right up and finished the jar.

Surprising as that was, I think the highlight was possibly the sidelong glance she gave my mother in law halfway through that said, I’ll eat them for my Mom, and was totally superior. My MIL said that clearly the baby wasn’t thinking about those times when she is the only port in the storm (when I’m working). I said that she clearly hadn’t gotten the rule book that explains – you act out for your parents, but then when Grammy watches you, see if you can get her to say – I have no idea what you’re talking about. She’s always an angel for me.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

"Obese" infant denied health insurance

I saw this article and had to write a quick note on it. Apparently a 17 lb 4 month old is being denied health insurance because of a preexisting condition - obesity. The child is in the 99th percentile for both height and weight, but the insurers look at the weight cut off only and won't accept a baby over 95th percentile - despite the fact that the child is solely nursed and totally healthy!

Can you believe that? The Dad joked that they don't have control over what he eats to put him on Atkins (and he's not yet walking to go on a treadmill!), but as soon as he goes on solids they'll start the slim fast. The mother (quite rightly!) said she won't withhold food to get him below this arbitrary number. I realize I'm coming off really opinionated here, so if there's another side of the story that I'm just not seeing (because I'm too busy seeing red!), please let me know your thoughts.

I know that insurers are "numbers" people and that they have to manage risk, which is based on a discrete set of numbers / rules, rather than personal experience or subjective input. But it seems like their numbers and rules should allow for exceptions on weight restrictions for INFANTS under 6 months or a year old - especially those that have not started solids yet! I don't know enough about how formula feeding 'works' to understand potential overfeeding issues there, but I know that you really can't overfeed a nursing baby. My daughter will simply stop eating when she is full - even if I continue to attempt to nurse her. Admittedly, it is possible to "force" too much expressed milk on her (I think one of our babysitters may have accidentally done this) - but she just spits it up if you do.

This just makes me so mad!

Click on my post title for the full article.

Monday, October 12, 2009

All about Meme - Friends

This week's question was what Friends character are you most like. As I was a long time ADDICT of this show, I figured I'd better answer. The obvious answer to any of my friends is Chandler - it's the sarcasm and the overstatment (could I be any more like him some days?). One of my college friends told me that he'd heard one of "my" stories from another friend and even without hearing the source, he knew it was from me just based on how it was told and which details were emphasized.

Well that and I have one of those jobs that makes no sense to anyone else (remember the trivia episode - what does Chandler do for a living?). While I don't create a WENUS (weekly estimated net usage... stats? Something like that), I did for a long time create a WIFR... Oh man, this is so sad! I remember what the WENUS was but not what my own report acronym was! It was weekly international, something with an F, report - a sales monitoring tool. This is so sad...

Well, moving beyond that sad state of my brain, I've realized that there's also a Monica part of me recently. I may not be all that organized, but what I do have organized, God help me if it's messed up! I recently had not put away the baby's laundry for a couple of days (due to some long work hours mixed with intrinsic laziness) so someone else took care of it for me. Rather than be grateful, I had a little mental freak out because not everything was put in the right place - outfits weren't separated from onesies, wash cloths were in with clothes, dresses weren't hung up, socks weren't in the right drawer - Cats and Dogs living together, IT WAS MADNESS! Anarachy! I had to pull everything out and totally reorganize.

Had to.

Had to.

Yup, that doesn't sound at all OCD...

... had to.

This bites

So even before she had teeth my little one on occasion would decide to clamp down on my nipple when breastfeeding. And, let me tell you, even without teeth – this hurts! Now that she does it with teeth, there’s usually a small scream (from me!) involved. The pediatrician has suggested there is nothing to be done to stop it. I try telling her no, but she doesn’t understand. On occasion, I get kind of mad at her! But how do you “get mad” at a 7 month old. The best I can do is pack up my toys (well, boobs) and go home. She gets rather abruptly handed to her Dad – who always says, you seem kind of angry with her for that – like that’s a crazy reaction. You should see his reaction when she pulls his chest hair and kicks him in his … sensitive areas!

Still trying to figure out sleep… (to Ferberize or not to Ferberize. When to check?)

Things started out really well on the sleep front. Well, not started out. Nothing starts out well – those first 3 weeks are hell on wheels. But very quickly our daughter started sleeping for longer stretches – 8,10,12 hours and even letting us sleep in. We kept joking that it would all come back to haunt us one day. But we figured one day was years from now – like when she was a teenager. We didn’t guess that one day would start during infancy.

I mentioned we’d had some issues at 4 months, but had sort of managed to correct (well, plus or minus…). Well, since the move, things are getting a bit out of hand. I know it’s our “fault” as her schedule and routine got really messed up in the move / the new place, but I’m having such a hard time correcting. The fact of the matter is, it’s clear that she no longer seems to be able to fall asleep on her own. I’ve tried moving her bedtime up, as she gets VERY over tired and can’t seem to settle, but nothing seems to work. Even if I try to nurse her to sleep – unless I hit it exactly right, she wakes up when I put her in the crib and it’s all over…

So we’ve discussed our options and I began my online research. Do I let her cry it out? Do I try Ferber? Do I sit with her while she cries it out (so she’s not nursing, but not alone)? Do I cradle and rock her and possibly nurse her till she moves out of the house? And I discovered what every mother discovers – no one knows! Some people say let them cry it out, as it’s really important for their development. There’s the Ferber method of periodically checking on her – which would be great (I’m not neglecting you. I’m here. I’m just not being manipulated.) except that seeing us come in, but do nothing for her, just freaking pisses her off! Others say that our biological imperative is NOT to let our children cry it out because going back to caveman days, a crying baby would have attracted predators – it would have been neglect and/or harmful to the clan as a whole.

Now I know that EVERYONE has an opinion on this. And most people think their opinion is the only way to do anything. The fact is – I can’t seem to get myself to a final opinion. We’ve tried Ferber the last few nights and last night… well, had odd results. She cried for a long time. After awhile in checking on her, I noticed all the drool and remembered she seemed a little fussy so thought – well maybe she’s teething. I decided to give her some Tylenol. She cried again when I put her down for a little bit, but then she stopped, so I assumed she’d gone to sleep. I waited a little while to make sure she was really asleep and went in – and she wasn’t asleep. Her eyes were open and she just looked at me, but didn’t cry. I rushed back out (trying not to be seen, which I assumed would induce crying – but I think she saw me). Her Dad checked on her when he got home about an hour later – she was awake (or was not deeply asleep and woke up) and saw him too – but no cry.

Have we broken her spirit?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Home Sweet Home

So last week, the hubby and I were actually both off on Saturday (this feels rare) and decided after running some errands to drive by our *maybe* house. He’s apparently been out to visit a few times (not that we can go in, but I guess it gives him a better sense that there likely aren’t squatters – human or vermin-wise – and nothing major is falling into disrepair. As it happened, our timing was just right to go to church near our house, so we decided why not.

Now 5:30 does not tend to be optimal time to take the munchkin to church, as it is a prime eating time for her, but she mostly did OK for awhile. The people sitting near us (very near, as the church was packed!) played with her a little and were all clearly grandparents (that’s who goes to church on Saturday night, you know! I can clearly remember going then with my own grandparents if they were babysitting us. We had to arrive at least 30 minutes early so that they could get their parking spot and Grandma could get her seat – which we were not to move from! No scooting in for anyone else – we got here early and got the aisle!) and therefore found her to be adorable (which she is!). Anyway, maybe about 15 minutes in, she got a bit fussy so Dad took her out to the vestibule. After about 5 minutes, an older woman tapped me on the shoulder as she took my husband’s seat and said, I don’t think he’s coming back, do you? I’ve done this routine with him before so I knew he very likely was coming back, but am I seriously going to kick an old lady out of a seat? A seat I’m not even actually using right now? Of course as soon as she got settled in, he came back. She was about to give up the seat when the man on our other side offered up his seat instead (neither of which my husband felt comfortable taking, but eventually did come to sit by me – for about a minute until the munchkin starting crying again!). On the second cries, it was my turn to go out with her and try to feed her. I passed the man who’d just given up his seat on my way out and told him that he could probably hang on to it. Anyway, I got to the vestibule and it was pretty packed there. There were no seats to be had, so I sat on the floor, put on the feeding wrap and let the baby eat. I headed back in (as ‘my’ seat was still empty, as the other man had moved) and as I got to the row, I joked with the older woman that she might want to switch with me to give us (back) the aisle as we can be in and out a bit. I guess she thought I was asking her to move / give up her seat, as she went to stand in the back again. Now I felt like a total jerk – I just stole a seat from an old lady! At church! I tried to get her to take the remaining open seat, but I guess she’d had enough musical chairs. So we made it through the end of mass with my wondering how much time in purgatory I’d added with that one…

Anyway, we wound up talking to this other family after mass, who I’d noticed had a baby about the same age as ours. She was not their first, though. No, no… she was their EIGHTH! Yes, eighth, like after 7 and before 9 (as I don’t doubt 9 may yet be on the horizon). We asked about schools for the kids and she told me she homeschooled (8 kids! At home! All day!). My husband said, God bless you! (with the tone that said, no way would we consider that!) She started trying to sell me on how easy it really was and I started to wonder about this place we’re moving to… OK, seriously, we can only afford this house with both of us working anyway (unless this blogging thing suddenly takes off as a big moneymaker, which I’m somehow not seeing…), but also, as my husband pointed out, our child needs to leave the house and be taught by others, as she’d wind up really opinioned if she only got our views. I joked that she’d be the only kid in the very conservative Catholic homeschooling group going, but I don’t see why women can’t be priests?


After several nights of spending an hour and half or two hours in the nursery with an overtired baby who would not go to sleep (two nights ago, I tried setting her in her crib. She cried for more than 10 minutes, so I went back in. An hour later, I tried again and it took a full 20 minutes of wailing before she settled and went to sleep. I know that was best for her as she truly was just overtired, but it was so hard to hear such pitiable sobbing and not go in.), I decided it was time to try something new. In the past (my wondrous 7 months of experience), we generally fed her and she got a bath around 7:30 or 8. If it was on the earlier side (7 or 7:30), she’d sometimes catnap for half an hour or 40 minutes (just enough for us to eat dinner!) and then wake up for another hour or so before going to bed around 9. I had tried putting her down for the night at the catnap, but she really wasn’t ready then and would wake up (fully awake and let’s party). The evening nap seemed to work well for her – it kept her from getting too overtired, but she was still ready for bed.

It occurred to me now, though, that maybe the evening nap was really when she should be going to bed. The last few nights she has been OUT during that nap. She wakes up looking a bit tired and sort of confused and grumpy (I hadn’t noticed immediately as that is much the way that I normally wake up). But then she’s up – yawning and rubbing her eyes and overtired, but unable to go back to sleep.

So last night I decided to just put her down to bed when she got sleepy after her bath (7:30 or so). I figured if she woke up in 45 minutes or an hour, I’d treat it like a night feeding – just got in and nurse her with the lights off and try to put her back down. If she was really fully awake, I’d deal with that (and have another night of the 2 hour bedtime routine), but hopefully that wouldn’t be the case. And, crazy thing – it wasn’t! She actually didn’t wake up for another feeding and slept from 7:30 pm to 7:30 am! I guess the downside (if this is now her bedtime) is no more sleeping in on the weekend for us (we’ve been spoiled with a baby who will sometimes sleep till 9 or even later!), but it does seem a much better schedule for a 7 month old.

I reminded my husband that one night does not a pattern make, but here’s hoping!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Cereal and veggies and fruits, oh my!

time to introduce fruits and vegetables. First came carrots. I tasted them. I know why she made that face (I like carrots, but this overcooked mush – yuck!). She did better on sweet potatoes and squash – moderately. But now we’ve hit applesauce. She’s looked at me like – where have you been hiding this stuff?! I can’t wait to see how the transition to green vegetables will go after that…

The crazy thing about adding in the fruits or vegetables is that those 2 servings are on top of the 2 servings of cereal. I’m starting to see my day fly by in a flurry of (very slow!) feedings. It’s only a teaspoon full of the new fruit or veg, but it still seems to take twenty minutes! Twenty tear filled minutes each time. Then there’s the inevitable outfit change (more food on her than in her – I’ve started keeping aside “feeding outfits” to limit the stains). Sometimes I’ll stop in the middle of the afternoon and think – did I take the dog out? Huh, come to think of it, I had to pee a couple of hours ago – did I ever do that?

Monday, October 5, 2009

High rollin’ in her high chair

We decided to go buy a high chair this past weekend. To date, we’d been feeding the munchkin in her swing (at first, she didn’t seem ready for a high chair and then it was just one more thing to move…), but the swing was a bit low and therefore not a very comfortable way to feed her – and just probably not ideal overall.

So we headed to Babies R Us – let the agony begin. We learned to fear Babies R Us a bit during the initial baby registry process – seriously, there’s a whole wall full of different bottles! How are these different? Which is the right one? Oh crap… We got there this weekend and headed to the high chairs – ironically, it’s actually not a much larger display than bottles despite the relative size of high chairs v. bottles. But which one? What the heck is the difference? My husband liked the pretty solid wood one, but I pointed out that we didn’t actually have to buy the most expensive one (OK, so peg perego was more expensive, but I still wanted to direct him to the other end of the display). We agreed to eliminate all the most expensive ones as we couldn’t see any difference between those and the moderate ones. (We eliminated the cheapest ones because in that case we could see a difference.) We eliminated the super girly ones – just in case we have more children (my husband keeps claiming that he is positive he is going to wind up with 3 girls. I asked him who would be the mother of all those children as I’m not at all sure about 3! Let’s work on the one we have. I also noted that while he’d complain terribly about being outnumbered, he absolutely loves his little girl and would probably love as many girls as he’d get and if it turned out that way, despite any complaints, he’d secretly not want it any other way. But I digress. Oh, he did have to throw in that he was sure he’d be surrounded by women all on their period at once and it would be awful. I pointed out that he should quit complaining as mine hasn’t come back yet because of breastfeeding, so it’s been nearly a year and half since he’s had to live with even one woman on her period. OK, right, the point.). This left us with just a few – we eliminated one because “it annoyed us” and then essentially went the eenie meanie route on the remainders to finally pick one.

As we finished, I headed to the mother’s room to feed our new proud high chair owner, as she was getting a bit fussy. This left my husband alone to buy the high chair. Alone save the pregnant couple down the aisle who were picking out other items for a registry. He looked at them and remembered that moment and decided it was time to be the senior statesman and let the dad to be in on his wisdom. It went something like this.

Hubby: Look, when you have the baby, the first few weeks are going to effing suck, but then it gets better.
Dad to be: (I’m guess his face said, huh, do I know you? But his mouth said) Um, OK.
Hubby: Seriously. You’ll get through it and then it will get better.
DTB: Yeah, ok.
Hubby: I’m telling you. Just survive those first few weeks.
DTB: (guessing his inner monologue was now more – how do I get out of this conversation?) OK. Um, thanks.

We try to do what we can to help those that have come after us. I can’t wait till he starts imparting knowledge to our daughter (and till she starts repeating it and I have to tell her not to use those words – as I believe there were quite a few more F bombs in the actual speech…).

Rock & roll all day and party every night

You know that scene in Role Models where the guy misquotes “I want to rock and roll all day and part of every night.” You know till like 8, but then I want to get some stuff done and get a good night’s sleep. The munchkin must not have caught that part. It’s like we’re hitting the rebellious teenage up all night years early. She won’t go to bed. I know, I know. She’s 7 months old. She doesn’t “go” to bed. I put her there. But the thing is I’ve tried ‘putting her’ there and she screams – incessantly. I’ve tried waiting her out, but she can go on for 10 or 20 minutes (she’s really quite wily…). The last few nights we’ve spent about 2 hours in her nursery trying to convince her it’s bedtime – while she rubs her eyes and yawns and we think we’re making progress, but then she changes her mind and is a bouncing / kicking fool! There’s no stopping her. It starts to drive us nuts (especially as this is most often when the biting during breastfeeding occurs – oh, my favorite…). Then she finally quiets and as she’s nursing, she curls her own hand around my finger – and it’s so cute, I forget that I’m tired – and hey, annoyed with her! – and she’s my angel again.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Airplane wallpaper

I know I haven’t said much about life with the in laws. This is probably in large part due to the fact that they went on vacation for most of our first week at their place. The one comment I will make is that when I sent the realtor an email asking for a timeframe / whether we need to look at other stuff and she wrote back with her comments, my husband replied to both of us – “I dunno. I’m sort of enjoying living in my little kid bedroom.” Heaven help me!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Giving up the ghost of cool

We decided to go hiking this weekend to enjoy the nice weather. We arrived at the park and saw a bunch of people getting set to mountain bike on the trails – they were all inflating tires and testing out their (I’m sure quite cool) bikes. We noticed them for a moment, but then were totally distracted by the couple with the BOB! For those of you who don’t know what that is, the Bob is a very high end jogging stroller. My husband lusts after it. He entirely forgot about the mountain bikes (though he used to love to ride these trails) to drool over our fellow yuppies with their stroller.

Our only saving grace (our stroller seems pretty expensive to me as well, but doesn’t match the cost of the bob) was our stroller was much lighter – and my husband was much bigger and stronger – so he was able to pick it up and carry it over some of the uneven / rock covered ground when the other couple gave up and turned around. Who needs a Bob when you have this Dad?